Hello, friends and fellow fishermen. Tight Line Jr. here and I’m hoping everyone is doing well.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring and a bit of warmer weather — but not too hot. A nice breeze, shorts and a light jacket, now that’s my style.
Not much on the fishing reports this week, but here is an old fishing tale pulled from my dad’s plentiful stash. Yes, Ol’ Tight Line, Allen Branch, is one of the best to ever wet a hook.
Let’s go back a few years. It was around Christmastime and there was no live bait to be found. If I recall correctly, it was Christmas Eve. It was 17 degrees outside and Dill Middleton, Herchel Dasher, my father and I set out for McQueen’s. I had some hot coffee and I’m sure the other gents had something to keep them warm. All I know is, it was a cold ride.
The only bait dad said we needed was some salty dogs and off we went to McQueen’s, an inlet on the ocean side of St. Catherines Island. We made our way up to an elbow bend and dad dropped anchor. He said there was a deep hole in the middle of the creek and we should toss our lines and let them sink down about 20 feet.
A few more boats showed up after we got there, but we already had a prime spot.
Those other anglers just sat there and watched us pull up trout after trout and they were nice ones, too. We had no cooler and no ice, but we didn’t need it — remember, it was 17 degrees. I remember changing my salty dog because it was all chewed up. But then I stopped getting nibbles so I went back to the chewed up piece and the fish started biting again.
Dad finally looked at all the fish in the boat and said, "That’s good boys, let’s pull up."
Before we left, daddy looked around and waved in one of the other anglers into our sweet spot. It turned out to be one of dad’s longtime customer’s from Branch’s Marina.
Now this all happened before there were limit laws and when all was said and done, we had landed 217 gator trout. It’s a day I’ll always remember. Imagine all those fish and no live bait was used.
Now we have laws to prevent over-fishing and daddy was instrumental in passing those laws. In my eyes, that’s what makes him the finest fisherman on the whole coast.
So remember what Ol’ Tight Line says and get out there and get fishing. And if you do, always remember to keep a tight line. I always say hit the docks, keep a sharp eye and watch that cork go down. So get out there and wet a hook.
Tight Line Jr.